New Study Reveals that Physicians Need to Take More Vacation Time
January 30, 2024
How’s this for an antidote to burnout? A new study provides evidence that physicians should take more vacation time each year and stay away from their electronic health record (EHR) inbox while vacationing! The study in JAMA Network Open found that 59% of doctors take less than three weeks of vacation each year and 70% do patient-related work on a typical vacation day – all of which is linked to burnout.
According to the study, about one-third of the physicians work 30-minutes or more on a typical vacation day and 70.4% perform some patient care-related tasks. Less than half of the physicians in the study reported having full EHR inbox coverage while on vacation, so felt obligated to respond to patients.
To prevent physician burnout, the study suggests there needs to be institutional and colleague support for taking vacation, along with efforts made to reduce physician obligation for patient care-related tasks during the time off.by email.